German chancellor, Angela Merkel is set to visit Australia's largest ICT research and development centre, NICTA, as part of her G20 visit to Australia.
NICTA chief executive, Hugh Durrant-Whyte, said was thrilled that Chancellor Merkel was taking time to visit NICTA's smart Australian ICT research institution.
"With a PhD in chemical physics and an enduring commitment to the modernisation of Europe’s economy through digital innovation, Chancellor Merkel is uniquely placed to deeply appreciate the revolution that new technology is bringing to the world economy,” he said.
“Germany is a country at the very forefront of science- based economic development, and Angela Merkel’s leadership has focused on ICT-led innovation, especially in critical industries where Germany leads the world, such as the automotive space.”
Merkel will inspect the NICTA research area that is striving to develop secure and reliable software systems.
These are designed to make the world’s increasing number of devices and computer systems safer from malicious attacks and malfunction.
This will help ensure the integrity of everyday infrastructure and services such as road systems, electricity supply, health devices such as pacemakers, and emergency services.
NICTA is funded and supported by Federal and State Governments and 22 university partners.
A 2012 analysis of NICTA research by Deloitte demonstrated a projected contribution of over $3 billion a yea to GDP.
NICTA’s research is helping grow Australia’s mining, infrastructure, transport, finance, technology and services sectors.
It also builds the digital technology skills base of Australia by attracting the best students, engineers and researchers. It now has 700 staff and PhD students in its Australian laboratories and hosts the national Digital Careers program, which encourages primary and secondary school students to consider technology-related careers.
It also spins out companies at an average rate of one every three months.
Capital raised by NICTA’s 15 start-up companies sits at more than $80M, with over 130 new jobs created in Australia’s tech sector.
These include: Saluda Medical, a medical device company addressing chronic pain with implant technology; Audinate, a digital media networking technology company; and Incoming Media, mobile video delivery specialist.